AVA- “Of course, the adversaries would deny that millions of people showed up but they do know and they do understand that as long as a nation holds its ground like this, enemies can do it no harm,” Imam Khamenei told a crowd of thousands of people on Monday.
Millions of Iranians took to the streets last week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, much to the dismay of US leaders who had said the Islamic Republic would not survive to see the event.
Every year on February 11, the Iranian nation turns out in droves to highlight support for the Revolution which ended 2,500 years of monarchical rule in Iran and replaced the US-backed Pahlavi regime with an Islamic Republic.
This year, demonstrators in many cities braved the cold weather as they descended on main crossroads to renew their allegiance to the country's Islamic principles at a time of rising economic and political pressure coming from the US.
Speaking on the anniversary of an uprising by the people of Tabriz on February 18, 1978, the Leader said Monday morning that as long as the nation stays true to its values and defends them as it did last week, it will prevail with God’s assistance.
Referring to the recent deadly attack by a Pakistani-based terror group against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces in southeastern Iran, Imam Khamenei said “such incidents must make us aware of the price that is paid for our security.”
Terrorists behind bombing captured
On Wednesday, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus on a road in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, killing 27 IRGC personnel and injuring 13 others.
The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group, which is based in Pakistan and has known links to al-Qaeda and Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for the assault.
On Monday, the IRGC said it had captured some members of the team behind the bombing, including three terrorists ready to blow up 150kg of explosives.
IRGC forces, acting on clues by intelligence agents, raided several houses in Saravan and Khash on Sunday night, and arrested those hiding there, the IRGC said in a statement.
“In this successful operation, three terrorists were arrested and 150 kilograms of explosives ready for use and 600 kilograms of explosives being prepared for attacks were discovered along with some quantities of weapons and ammunition,” it said.
"The detainees were the same elements who had procured, directed and backed up the car used by the suicide bomber in the recent criminal attack on the Khash-Zahedan road," it added.
The IRGC said it was using further clues to exact "the ultimate revenge against the central nucleus of the gang behind this crime" and expected cooperation from the Pakistani government and army to speed up the process.
“Let’s not forget how security is established,” Imam Khamenei said, adding “May God bless the Islamic Revolution Guards and all of the people who protect the security, and the police and others.”
'US, Europeans not trustworthy'
Imam Khamenei doubled down on his warnings that the US and its European allies are not trustworthy, a point that he first mentioned last Wednesday, as he unveiled a roadmap for the “second phase” of the Islamic Revolution.
“Officials should distinguish friend from foe and never get deceived. Sometimes the enemy flashes its teeth, sometimes it throws punches and sometimes it makes smiles; these are not different and even their smile is out of hostility,” the Leader said.
“America’s animosity is bare; the Europeans are also deceitful today,” he explained.
Drawing attention to the many problems that the US is dealing with both inside and outside of its borders, the Leader said while “no enemy is to be underestimated,” the reality is that Washington is “weak” today.
“You can see today that our main enemy, the US, is struggling,” he asserted. “It is struggling with internal issues and its struggling with external issues and it is also tussling with leaders of the countries” that it has conflicts of interest with.
“Yet these stupid officials or first-class idiots get angry and labor themselves to death, holding the Warsaw summit which gets nowhere; they invite their weak and wavering governments to plot against Iran but they get nowhere.”
Imam Khamenei was referring to the recent anti-Iran meeting in the Polish capital which failed to produce any results despite Washington’s high hopes; rather, it created serious divisions among them.
“These are tell-tale signs of the enemy’s weakness. When the enemy is weak, it blows hot air,” the Leader said. “This hot air should not cause any worries among our officials.”